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Schwerin an der Warthe

Martha Johanna Kuschick - the Kuschick family story - Schwerin

My mother Anna and her family came from the village of Trebisch (Trzebiszewo), not far from Schwerin an der Warthe. After my parents were married they settled down in Schwerin. They had three children, Klara, Hete, Leo, and Martha (myself). My father went away to fight in the First World War and on the day before he was to leave they had a family portrait done in Schwerin. My parents, Gregor and Anna first lived on Lindenstrasse in Schwerin (now Skwierzyna). By the time I was born in 1921, they lived at the Am Stadt Park. I remember a wonderful childhood filled with love and special memories. Schwerin was a wonderful place to grow up. The woods close by were inviting and lovely to walk in. I was the youngest of the children. I went to the St. Nicklaus Catholic church and to the school next door. My mother used to come and wait by the school fence with my lunch many days. I remember that one time the Jewish school at the synagogue in the town was being fixed up and redecorated and the children had no where to go to school so they came to my school. I became good friends with one of the pupils, a girl called Anita Klein. After my father died and we had to move to Wierzebaum (Wierzbno), I lost touch with her; and to this day I do not know what happened to her. My papa loved Christmas and every summer he would go into the woods to select his tree for the following Christmas. On Christmas Eve he would go with Leo and chop down the tree and bring it home to decorate. He only allowed me to help. I felt so special.  Winters were very cold there and yet they were wonderful. I can still remember the crunching sound and the feel of the snow under my feet as she walked to school.  When I was six years old my sister Klara got married. She was my parentís oldest child and the wedding was to be very special. It was held at Billerbecks. There was a band and dancing and wonderful food. All of my motherís sisters came with their families. We had a family portrait taken. All the girls in the wedding party had their hair permed for the occasion and I wanted mine done too. My mother said that I was too young for that but I insisted and I got my perm. It was incredibly curly; not at all what I expected. When I was ten years old, my family moved to Wierzebaum because of papaís job. Shortly thereafter, he was killed and with no where else to go we had to move to Berlin and live with my sister, Klara. I finished school there but sadly things were to change again. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and after a difficult battle, she died in 1938. This made me an orphan before the war even started. I went to secretarial school and met a young officer. We were married in 1941. In February of 1943, I had a little boy, Klaus, I remember very well the bombs dropping over Berlin. Things got very dangerous and so I moved to Meseritz (now Miedzyrzecz) where my sister Hete lived. My daughter Angelika was born in 1944. I had a nice little place to live and I had furnished it with the money I received from my fatherís death benefit. In January of 1945, we could hear the artillery fire on the outskirts of the town. I had to flee Meseritz because the Russian army was fast approaching. I put on four or five layers of clothes; dressed my children in many outfits and loaded the baby carriage and a sled with as much of their clothes and necessities as possible. I walked out of my home, locked the door and started for the train station. (How silly to lock the door.) My deepest regret is that I did not get a special tablecloth that my mother had embroidered for me. It was in the laundry and I did not remember until it was too late. The snow was 2 feet deep and pushing the baby carriage in it was very difficult. By the time I got to the station I only had three wheels. As I approached the station I could see all the people crowding into the station. I was about to go there when a man told me, ď No, donít go that way. Those people are not going anywhere; you go over there to the other side.í He indicated a different area and I hurried to get there. I saw many, many people crowding into box cars and I tried to get my babies and my self onto one. My sister Hete was already there and she saw me coming. We could not get the baby carriage onto the box car because the other people said there is no room for it. My sister grabbed someoneís bicycles and threw them out of the car. She said that now there was room for the carriage, she told them that she had to leave her bicycle behind also. We were packed into the box car like sardines. There was no room to sit. There was no where to go to the toilet. At first everyone just refused to go and held it. But after a while people just had to go. There was a small space where the door closed and some straw there. So gradually, that was the place where we all had to go to the toilet. It was so cold in the box car and I had to chew up food to feed my baby. We were refugees. We were going west; where I did not know; only that it was away from the Russian army. My grandfather, Hyronimus Kuschick lived to old age and the last time I saw him he was 82. It was in 1944 and I had a picture taken with him. He was a nice old man and loved to care for his goats. When the Red Army came hge had to leave all his goats behind and, unfortunately, because he was so old and there was not food to be found anywhere, he died of starvation. I never saw him again after I had to flee from Meseritz. According to later reports, many of the Germans of Schwerin who did not leave when the Russians came, were herded into a building in the middle of the town and killed.  We got off the train in the country and we were sent to work on the farms. It was not so bad because we had good food to eat. We had to work very hard. Then the Russians were close by again. It was terrible. The soldiers came to the villages and farms every night and took the women and young girls away and did terrible things to them. One of the girls that I knew killed herself because she could not take it anymore. Each night I would leave my babies with an old woman on the farm and I would go hide in the rafters above the pig sty to avoid being taken. The farmerís wife was so very good to me. I was trying to get to the west where my husband was. I donít know how I survived the war, but I did. After the war I ended up getting a divorce and I met an English soldier. He was so good to me and my son.  He took me to England and we started a new life there. In 1964 we emigrated to the United States where my sister Klara now lived.

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This picture is of my great-grandmother Wrusch. The photo was taken by a photographer in Schwerin.

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My sister Klara Kuschick and her best friend Frieda Pagel. They were both about 16 or 17 years old. Frieda's father was a doctor in Schwerin.

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This photo is of Leo Kuschick on the day of his first Holy Communion. I think that it was taken around 1920

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This photo is of my sister Klara Kuschick. It was taken around 1919 on the day of her first Holy Communion.

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This photo is of Hedwig Kuschick. My sister Hete. It is her wedding day. She married Leo Heinisch. Probably taken around 1930.

 

 

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This one is of Gregor Kuschick. My father. He lived and worked in Schwerin an der Warthe between 1908 - 1931.

He worked for the electric company that put up the electricity lines around the country. He was killed in an accident in 1931.

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Here is the photo of me (Martha Johanna Kuschick) and my zuckertute. We called it ostertute. This was taken in 1926 or 27. I was a spoilt little girl because I was the youngest. My papa never scolded me. He used to call me 'Kuschick's matchen'.

 

 

 

 

 

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This photo is of my sister Klara's first wedding. Her name is Klara Kuschick and her husband was Otto Schulz. They were married in the summer of 1927 at Billerbeck's in Schwerin. My motherís parents, Anna and Gregor Kuschick are sitting in the front row next to the groom. The couple standing next to the bride are my motherís aunt and uncle. Franze and Paul Klubsch. Franze is Anna Kuschickís sister. The owners of Billerbeckís are in the wedding portrait. Herr and Frau Billerbeck are the couple on the end of the second row on the right. They are sitting in front of a soldier. Billerbeckís was a very large place where they had a dance hall with a bandstand, sports club, a cafť with tables outside. Lots of events like parties and weddings were held there. The back of the bandstand was across the street from my motherís residence on Amstadt park.

I (Martha Kuschick) am the little blond girl in the front row with the terrible head of curls.

 

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I (Martha Kuschick), am the third girl from the left in the front row. It was taken in 1931 on the occasion of our first Holy Communions in Wierzebaum.

 

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This is a photograph of a sports club that my sister Klara Kuschick was in. It was taken in about 1919. Maybe someone would know of the club's name. My sister is the dark haired girl in the front row with the medallion around her neck.

 

 

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